A work visa is required for persons wanting to work in China for pay and their accompanying family members. This type of visa is also issued to aliens who come to China for commercial entertainment performance. The Z visa is only granted if you and the employer meet certain requirements. First, the organisation must be accredited to employ foreigners. You must meet the requirements as a 'foreign expert' and the employer must obtain a certificate stating that you comply. The most common employment is teaching English for which the minimum qualifications are stated as having English as a first language and having at least a Bachelors degree. However, there is some flexibility in these requirements so if you can find a willing employer they still have a chance of obtaining approvals for you.
The employer will send you a government issued Employment Permit and Visa Notification Letter which you must submit with a photocopies with your application. Family members accompanying an applicant may also apply for a Z visa submitting a 'proof of relationship' instead i.e. their marriage certificate for a spouse, or birth certificate for a child.
The visa is valid for only 30 days from the date of arrival during which time you and your employer must seek a Temporary Residence Permit for the duration of your contract, to a maximum of 12 months.
1. Applicant's valid actual passport with at least six months validity left before expiration and at least one blank visa page left in it.
2. One completed Visa Application Form of the People's Republic of China.
3. One recent passport standard photo affixed on the Visa Application Form.
4. A Visa Notification Form issued by an authorized Chinese department.
5. Work Permit (one of the following work permits):
Foreign experts, scholars, teachers or managers to be working in Mainland of China should provide the Confirmation Letter for Foreign Experts from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs of the People's Republic of China
Chief Representative of the permanent office of foreign enterprise in China should provide the Registration Certificate from the local Administration for Industry and Commerce
Foreigners engaged in offshore petroleum operations in China should provide an Invitation Letter issued by China National Offshore Oil Corporation;
Foreigners to be engaged in commercial entertainment performance in China should provide the temporary commercial entertainment performance permit from the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China. If the band has not more than five members, only the Visa Notification from the Foreign Affairs Office of province, autonomous region or municipality is required.
Other foreigners who comes to china for employment should provide the Employment Certificate for Foreigners (Work Permit) issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of the PRC
6. For the accompanying family members, they are not required to provide a Visa Notification Form or a Working Permit; they should provide Proof of Relative Relationship e.g. Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, etc
How to Apply
You can go to the Chinese embassy, consulates or other diplomatic missions in person for visa application. You can also entrust your friends, a travel agency or visa agency to act on your behalf. There is no need to make an appointment. Mailed applications are not acceptable.
It usually takes 4 working days for processing. For example, you submit application on Monday and then you can pick up your visa on Thursday. Additional US$ 30 is charged for 1 working day processing, and US$ 20 for 2-3 working day processing.
The fee for Z visa is as same as the fee for other types of Chinese visa. Generally speaking, Chinese embassy or consulate only issue single entry Z Visa to aliens.